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Accelerated Timelines for Business Students

A number of industries have shifted their recruiting timelines to early in the fall semester or have moved application deadlines to July application. Students seeking full time or internship positions in those industries will need to be ready and aware of these timelines in order to participate the recruitment process.

Its the first day of the new fall semester for business students, and just as you wrap up your summer activities, work responsibilities and gear up for class, you should also be thinking of the next round of applications for positions that will begin the following summer. It happens fast; the fall semester, specifically September, is the busiest time for most business companies to begin the hiring process for internships and full-time positions. This means you need to be aware of application deadlines and be active in the employer campus visits, Fall Career Expo and on campus interviews that all take place before Thanksgiving.

The industries that have accelerated their timelines fall under accounting (particularly public accounting), consulting, and banking. Public accounting firms are usually the first companies to schedule on-campus interviews. They begin recruiting sophomores for their summer leadership programs the during the spring semester. If invited to participate in a leadership program, students will then be invited to do an internship with the firm the following summer. Students can do as many leadership programs as they are accepted to (but can only accept one internship offer). If a student does not participate in a leadership program, the student can then apply for a summer internship during the fall semester of the student’s junior year. Students who complete an internship with a public accounting firm and have a positive experience will usually be extended a full time offer at the completion of their internship (and contingent upon maintaining a specific GPA). Other non-public accounting companies will post positions throughout the year on Handshake and interview on a non-routine schedule.

Consulting will follow a similar timeline, some firms also offer a leadership experience for sophomores with the same pipeline as public accounting, while others will just recruit juniors during their fall semester for internships the following summer. Whether or not companies will extend full time offers to their interns varies on the firm. Firms recruiting for full time positions will also recruit in the fall semester and on a rolling, as needed basis (meaning that other positions may become available and they will post and interview as the need arises).

Lastly, the banking industry has recently accelerated their timelines even more. Internships for investment banking positions may be posted as early as June or July and the interview process will occur before the semester (with start dates for the following summer).

To prepare for the accelerated timelines, students are encouraged to begin their exploration early. During students’ freshmen and sophomore years, students should participate in a career trek or an externship to be able to gain exposure to various industries and to begin to develop their professional network. Students should also network with Lehigh alumni through LinkedIn and Lehigh Connects (mentor program). More information can be found on the Networking page on Handshake. Lastly, students should be regularly checking the events page on Handshake to find out about upcoming events and when companies will be on campus. Recruiters will track attendance at these events and will give preference to those students who attend their sessions when inviting students to interviews.

Want to map out your 4 year career plan so you can have an idea of the timelines that will effect your career goals? Come meet with a Career Coach to discuss and develop a plan that aligns with your goals.

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